Mini-baby boom hits Hilo
By Colin M. Stewart
Call it Hilo Medical Center's Gemini jamboree.
Beginning on Wednesday this week, the hospital's nursery began welcoming a total of four separate sets of twins within 48 hours.
When 18-year-old Alissa Renier had her boy and girl at 3:28 and 3:29 a.m. Friday, it marked a milestone for the growing hospital.
"While we haven't kept accurate records on this over the years, we think we have never had this many twins at one time," said Dan Brinkman, the regional chief nurse at HMC. "We had other births, too. We have an average of 3.2 births per day, but in the past two days we've had a total 14 births. But the really amazing thing is the twins.
"The Hilo Medical Center staff is so proud to be a part of bringing eight wonderful babies into the world within 48 hours," he said.
Some staff members wondered if the heavens affected the timing of the births, as they came during a full moon and at the beginning of the Gemini month -- May 21 to June 20 -- the astrological sign of the twin constellations.
"Must be something in the water," Brinkman said with a chuckle.
Alissa Renier and Nicholas Texeira, 27, said they hadn't yet decided on names for their babies, but the new dad was lobbying for "Kaden" and "Khloe."
When asked if she was interested in having any more children, about the only reaction she could muster was a tired looking eye roll. She may have just been conserving energy, knowing that she had plenty of hard work ahead.
Luckily, her mom, Lisa, lives across the street and said she would be helping out however she can.
Mark and Reyna Rose, meanwhile, decided on the names Samantha Evelyn and Joelle Elaine for their blonde and brunette heartbreakers, who were born at 7:48 and 7:49 p.m. Thursday.
Their oldest daughter, 12-year-old Taylor, said she was thrilled she would no longer have to be an only child.
Honomu residents Radford and Ronelle Demotta, both 33, said they, too, had not settled on names yet, but their 9-year-old daughter Saige appeared eager to help. Their two boys were born at 4:43 and 4:44 p.m. Thursday.
The veteran mom of the group, Angela Quiroz, 35, was ready to be released from the hospital Friday afternoon, after giving birth to girl Aaliyah and boy Adrian at 6:36 and 6:38 a.m. Wednesday.
She said she had already talked with the Rose family about setting up playdates for their bundles of joy.
Quiroz said her twins were her third and fourth children, so she already had some experience at multi-tasking, but she expected the workload to increase significantly.
She was delighted and surprised by the news she was to have twins, as her family had no history of twin births.
"I thought I was having a miscarriage," she said, "so I went to the hospital. They gave me an ultrasound, and the doctor said, 'Congratulations, you're having twins.'
"'Are you sure you're looking at it right,' I said, and then I started to cry."
After coming together for a photograph and to share stories, the new moms made their way back to their rooms to catch some much-needed rest.
But the moms and newborns weren't the only tired people in the OB/GYN nursing unit and nursery Friday.
Gayle Shimabukuro, who works in the nursery, said that she had worried about running out of beds as the babies kept coming.
"Somehow, though, we always seem to make it," she said.
She added that it was "all hands on deck" the last few days, and an extra nurse had to be added to the usual contingent of two in the nursery.
"When it settles down a little, we'll go back to two. Right now, we just really want to go home tonight," she said.